I fell asleep watching TV at around 10pm last night and awoke after midnight to the breathless coverage of this BREXIT vote that clearly went in a direction no one was anticipating. Not surprisingly, the American press was engaged in their usual journalistic malpractice as they whipped the story into ‘Armageddic ‘ froth. By the time I went to bed at about 1:30, I was ready to load my suitcase with cans of baked beans and head for “the hills.”
I confess I know precious little about this situation, but I will say that I see a common thread running though recent world events.
Politicians across the globe have not been listening to the concerns of their own people.
Over the last year, the globe has experienced what I previously described as a tectonic shift in migration. The US had its own crush of mostly unaccompanied children arrive last summer and Europe has seen a staggering influx of heretofore unimanagineable proportions. Germany alone has absorbed close to a million refugees.
The lack of comprehensive, enforced immigration law, consistent border controls and the resulting chaos reminded me of my first rock concert (The Eagles) back in the 70s when masses of people surged from gate to gate looking for one that was open wide enough to let the crowd stream into the stadium. The experience was dangerous and profoundly traumatic.
As the recent immigration tsunami grew, the citizens of affected countries (ours included) looked to their governments for a plan..what they got instead was a pat on the head and a stern lecture about loving our neighbors.
Earlier this year, I actually heard a US Senator say they now have no idea where most of the underaged South American refugees went once they got here.. to which my reply was “C’mon… really?” They’re enrolled in public schools in every state and you know it.. If the US government really wanted to “find” them, they most certainly could. I’m not making a policy statement or critique here, I just loathe being lied to.
Now I’m not saying we shouldn’t allow immigrants into the US; far from it. I’m also sure that immigration isn’t the only driver of all this anger in Britain.
My only point to these politicians is you need to really listen to the very serious concerns of your own citizens and for heaven’s sake- don’t lie to them!
This morning I was happy to see that the UK hadn’t dissolved into the sea. What I did see were stunned intellectual elites (politicians & press) licking their wounded egos and talking with resignation (and no small amount of disdain) about the will of “the people.”
Yup, this is all nerve racking stuff, and the future of the EU looks a bit cloudy. But one thing – one thing – is crystal clear:
You can only ignore the voices of your own people for so long.